After making the decision to get divorced, you and your spouse may both want to hire separate divorce lawyers for help with this event. This is how divorce typically works; however, if you and your spouse can agree to mediation, you might be able to settle your divorce a lot faster and easier. Mediation involves a neutral person that helps couples make decisions about their divorce, but each spouse can still have their own lawyer. If you decide to use this method, here are three things you should discuss with your lawyer before your first mediation meeting.
How mediation works
When you meet with a mediator, it will be you, your lawyer, your spouse, and his or her lawyer. The goal of the meetings is to settle the decisions of the divorce, and the mediator is there to help with this. The mediator will not be there to give legal advice, though; this is what each of you have a lawyer for. You should meet with your lawyer before meeting together with the mediator, and your lawyer is likely to explain to you how this process works. It's important to fully understand this so you will be able to make the most of your mediation meetings.
What you are legally entitled to
The second thing you should talk to your lawyer about privately is what you are legally entitled to. Your lawyer will be very familiar with how divorce law works and will know how the laws in your state work. In most states, the laws are very similar and offer both spouses a right to equal parts of marital assets and debts. If there are certain assets you want from the settlement, make sure your lawyer knows this so he or she can help you fight for those in your mediation meetings.
Your goals with the children you have
If you and your spouse have children, it will also be important to discuss your goals relating to the kids with your lawyer before you go to mediation. Mediation does not work well when couples argue a lot and fight over issues. If you suspect there will be a child custody battle, using mediation will probably not be the best method to use for your divorce. If you feel that you and your spouse have the same mindset about the kids, mediation will probably work great.
Talking about these three things prior to mediation is a great way to have effective mediation meetings. If you have questions about your divorce or the use of mediation, contact a firm such as Novenstern Fabriani & Gaudio, LLP.